COVID-19 Advice

Updated: 8th March 2021

What the easing of COVID-19 restrictions means for you and your student life.

The restrictions in England, including those which affect Higher Education, are changing in line with the government’s 4 step plan to easing lockdown. 

These are summarised below and can be read in detail here, It is important to note the dates and details are provisional and dependent on the vaccine rollout, infection & hospitalisation data and the impact of any new variants. Guidance is available in different languages here.

The Department for Education has issued new guidance for Universities which NTU will be following in order to manage the return to in person teaching and other activities. Students on some courses will be able to return to campuses from 8th March (NTU will have been in touch if this includes you), the government will be reviewing the position for other students over the easter break. 

Students (and staff) who return to campuses will be encouraged to take a lateral flow test twice a week, these are provided through the university at no cost to you. Details of how to book and where to go can be found here. This page also details the actions students should take if they have symptoms or test positive for covid-19.

The Office for Students (the regulator for Universities in England) has released this guidance aimed at students. 

NTU will be communicating directly with all students about the impact on their studies, this will include those students who are able to return to campuses and in person teaching. The updates are also provided here.

NTSU has continued to lobby on behalf of students, updates on this work can be found here. We have also adapted our in person and online services to continue to support students, more details can be found on our website and our in person opening times can be found here

It is important to note that the ‘stay at home’ message from the government is still in place and the police are still enforcing this message across England, with additional resources. Students should continue to follow the laws in place wherever you are based at the time. If you do have interactions with the police and you want to know your rights please see our guidance here

Police have the powers to fine people for breaching restrictions. This includes a maximum £10,000 fine for organising large gatherings, and fines starting at £200-£800 for other offences. Many fines are doubled for additional offences.

When students are the subject of police action, they normally pass this information onto the university. The university will then also take disciplinary action which may result in anything from additional fines through to removal from your course.  If this happens to you contact our Information & Advice Service as soon as possible and our trained advisors will support you. 

Book an appointment with one of our advisors

Governments 4 Step Plan - Dates


Step 1A - 8th March 2021, Step 1B - 29th March 2021, Step 2 - no earlier than 12th April 2021, Step 3 - no earlier than 17th May 2021, Step 4 - no earlier than 21st June 2021 Step 1 - 8th March - schools and colleges are open for all students. Practical Higher Education Courses. Recreation or exercise outdoors with household or one other person. No household mixing indoors. Wraparound childcare. Stay at home. Funerals (30), wakes and weddings (6). 29th March - Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors. Outdoor sport and leisure facilities. Organised outdoor sport allowed (children and adults). Minimise travel. No holidays. Outdoor parent & Child groups (upto 15 people) Step 2 - At least 5 weeks after Step 1, no earlier than 12th April. Indoor leisure (including gyms) open for use individually or within household groups. Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors. Outdoor attractions, such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas. Libraries and community centres. Personal care premises. All retail open. Outdoor hospitality open. All children's activities, indoor parent and child groups (upto 15 parents). Domestic overnight stays (household only). Self-contained accommodation (household only). Funerals (30), wakes, weddings, receptions (15). Minimise travel. No international holidays. Event pilots begin. Step 3 - At least 5 weeks after Step 2, no earlier than 17th May. Indoor entertainment and attractions. 30 person limit outdoors. Rule of 6 or two households indoors (subject to review). Domestic overnight stays. Organised indoor adult sport. Most significant life events (30). Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances). Remaining accommodation. Some large events (except for pilots) - capacity limits apply - indoor events 1,000 or 50%, outdoor other events 4,000 or 50%, outdoor seated events 10,000 or 25%. International travel (subject to review) Step 4 - At least five weeks after Step 3, no earlier than 21st June. By Step 4, the Government hopes to be able to introduce the following (subject to review): No legal limits on social contact. Nightclubs open. Larger events. No legal limit on all life events.

Further information and resources

For latest, detailed guidance, information, and support, please see these resources: 

UK Government Coronavirus information page 

Latest information about your student experience from NTU 

Information about testing, tracking, and self-isolating procedures at NTU 

Latest information and updates about NTSU venues and services 

For general advice and support, contact our Information & Advice Service